“I watch it with My family every year!”
A Charlie Brown Christmas is a poorly done annual Christmas special based off the comic strip Peanuts by Charles Schulz. Since its first airing in 1965, it has been shown on television approximately one zajillion times; to the point that Lucy pulling the football away is less hackneyed than the sight of that ugly one-red-ornament stick.
The special starts out with all the kids simply having a wonderful Christmastime. The often shat upon protagonist, Charlie Brown, however, is in his usual mopey, FML attitude. Only this time it's pathetic even by Charlie Brown standards. No matter how hard he tries, he can't find happiness in Christmas, as everywhere he goes, he's depressed from the hollow commercialism of the season. Seeking a remedy, he visits the office of money-loving faux psychologist Dr. Lucy, where she informs Charlie Brown that the school is putting on a play about the Nativity of Jesus, as the ACLU was preoccupied with the whole "civil rights for blacks" thing at the time to care, and suggests he be the director in order to feel like an important part of Christmas, also, a run-on sentence.
Upon arriving in the middle of a chaotic dance number, Charlie Brown ascends to power to bring order to the pageant with an iron fist. After several minutes of uncooperation and games of assgrab, Charlie Brown soon becomes frustrated at their pitiful efforts. Unsure of what the play is missing, Lucy suggests a Christmas tree. Realizing that this is a fantastic idea, Charlie Brown and Linus vow to go the find the perfect tree, leaving Lucy in charge - Lucy being Adolf Hitler to Charlie Brown's Benito Mussolini.
Arriving at the Christmas tree lot, Charlie Brown and Linus are left unsatisfied with the artificiality of all the choices. That is, until Charlie notices a small tree that is as real and it is ugly.
And I mean really ugly. If it were a child, only a mother could love it. It were a puppy, it would be doomed to be put down at the end of the month. If it were a carton of milk, you'd smell it, make a disgusting face and throw it in the garbage while yelling profanities at your careless butthole of a roommate. (You get the idea.) Yet because Charlie Brown was a complete idiot, or because he could see something special in the tree, he buys it anyway.
Returning to ground zero proud of his achievement, he presents the official twig of the Peanuts' Christmas pageant, only to have all of them laugh at him, simply because they just couldn't see how wonderful it truly was.
Feeling like the ultimate dolt, Charlie Brown seeps back into his state of depression, completely barren of all faith in humanity. Suddenly, he cries out in angst, "Isn't there ANYONE?! Who knows?! What Christmas is all about?!" Cue Linus' famous monologue on the true meaning of Christmas:
Inspired, not to mention entirely terrified, Charlie Brown decides to take the tree home to decorate it himself. That'll show the bastards!
As soon as he gets home, he notices Snoopy's dog house has won first prize in the lights and display contest. After the WTF reaction fades, he shrugs and snatches a shiny red ornament for the tree. As soon as he places the ornament on the top bough, the tree leans all the way down like an old geezer once the Viagra wears off. Charlie Brown cries in dispair, "I've killed it. Ugh! Everything I touch gets ruined!" He then proceeds to go commit suicide.
The rest of the gang appears, feeling guilty for being dicks to Charlie Brown. They decide to give the tree a little love and finish decorating it.
Returning to snatch some lights off of Snoopy's dog house for which to hang himself, Charlie Brown is shocked to see that his once pitiful tree now looks beautiful. The kids all shout, "MERRY CHRISTMAS, CHARLIE BROWN!!1!!!11", and as the credits roll, everyone, including a finally happy Charlie Brown, is singing "Joy to the World", or some crap like that.
It is at this point, despite how mind-numbingly bored you were for the first 25 minutes of this special, despite how shoddy the animation was, despite how sappy, sickly sentimental this final moment is, you break down and sob like a baby.
- Main article: Greensleeves
Piano and Greensleeves. Lots of piano and Greensleeves.
edit Marxist interpretation
Despite the overt religious message, A Charlie Brown Christmas is considered to be a classic example of subtle Marxist propaganda sneaking into Christmas media, within the same vein of A Christmas Carol, How the Grinch Stole Christmas and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer. Charlie Brown's depression of the commercialism of the season is a classic example of the feeling of alienation under a capitalist society. The Christmas pageant, besides showing us that religion is, indeed, the opium of the masses preoccupying us from our misery, symbolizes trying to fit within the the roles society expects of us, i.e. those of long dead generations. Meanwhile, Charlie's poor job as director highlights the folly of centralized management. Finally, the childrens' recreation of the tree in the final act is the revolutionary act of "..building a new world within the shell of the old."
On the other hand...
Originally sponsered by Coca-Cola, the creators of the smash hit marketing icon Santa Claus, A Charlie Brown Christmas has sprung forth a wealth of merchandise. Everything from DVDs to CDs, books, cards, wrapping paper, ornaments, stockings, toys, plush dolls, board games, t-shirts, pajamas, novelty boxer shorts, gift cards, blow-up lawn displays, placemats, plates, glasses, knick-knacks, lamps, shower curtains, toilet seats, condoms, and even a plastic replica of Charlie Brown's crummy tree. Everything to make Peanuts fans enjoy the Christmas season.
As long as they don't forget the true meaning of the holiday, of course. Remember kiddies: The Great Pumpkin frowns upon hypocrisy!
- ↑ We had to pay Paul McCartney to use those words in that order. Worth every cent, if you ask me.
- ↑ One does not negate the other.
- ↑ The original final scene ended with the words "Brought to you by the people in your town who bottle Coca-Cola."  Hence, why so many church Christmas pageant renditions of that timeless sacred hymn included unintentional product placement for years.
- ↑ Probably.
edit See Also